Answering a Home Seller’s Question

Q. I want to get above my listing price. If I get a full-price offer, do I have to accept it?

A. My sellers occasionally ask this question because my listing strategy involves pricing a home at or near current, real-world market value, as opposed to some hoped-for higher price. Sometimes a seller says they don’t want to sell for any amount that’s not above the listing price and asks if they’re required to accept a full-price (or any) offer.

The answer is “no.” Sellers cannot be compelled to accept an offer, irrespective of the offered price.  I always explain this up front to prospective buyers (through their agent, if represented) who submit a full-price offer.  The Colorado real estate contract states that if the listing agent produces an offer that matches the terms specified, the seller owes the commission to the agent. To better serve my clients’ interests I insert an additional provision stating that the seller, will not owe me a commission on any rejected offer.

At the same time, however, I point out that if the only offer we receive is for full-price (or less), then we didn’t underprice the home, did we?  

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Do you have a question about real estate that you’d like answered here? Put it in an email and send it to me at Jim@GoldenRealEstate.com.